Ajax have produced a lot of talent in the past and are probably the biggest club in the Netherlands. But creating talent has not always worked in their favour. The Dutch club was forced to sell most of the players after many big teams across Europe were waiting for them. This season, key players like Jurrien Timber, Mohammed Kudus, and Edson Alvarez left the club in the summer.
Ajax have been dealing with the same situation over the past few years and always end up with an even stronger team. The team is also decent in the transfer business. They brought in Argentine left-back Gaston Avila from Belgian champions Royal Antwerp FC. He is just 21 and came to Europe after winning a few trophies with Boca Juniors. Here is a look at some of the stats of Ajax’s new Argentine investment.
Gaston Avila is a typical South American full-back who is not shy about challenging for the ball. The player won 63% of his defensive duels, 55% of his aerial duels, and 47% of his loose ball duels in the 2022–23 season. This is a high success rate for a young defender, but the player has to work on his discipline. He gave away free-kicks in dangerous areas, and one foul also led to a penalty. Most of the fouls were given in attacking areas.
This season, the player has featured in three games combined for his former and new club. His duel win rate is a bit similar but discipline is once again an issue.
One area where Avila will look to improve is in his contributions to the attack. He has two assists to his name since moving to Europe.
The player likes to progress down the flank and has also made a couple of box-penetrating runs. His dribbling hasn’t been up to standard, but the player has the potential to break the opposition’s defence.
The above viz shows the progressive passes made by the full-back this season. Most of the passes are directed towards the flanks, and a few of them have been attempted into the opposition penalty box. The 21-year-old has also attempted 16 passes into the opposition penalty box.
Fight for a regular spot
Ajax signed Owen Wijndal last summer after Tagliafico left the club. Both Avila and Wijndal will fight for a place on the left side of the defence this season. The above viz compares the percentile ranks of both players while playing in their respective leagues last season.
Avila has an edge over his Dutch teammate and has shown better discipline in defence. Wijndal has edged his new teammate in some of the areas, and this will make these two work hard for their position in the team.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine